For Lawrence Salamone
By Amy
(Written July 2006)

This story is dedicated to Lawrence and his friends.

I believe in miracles. I believe in signs. I believe in that shivering feeling that you get when you experience something that you just can't explain but you know is real.

I had that feeling when I saw the movie "Dragonfly". In the movie, Kevin Costner gets a message from his wife who recently died in an accident. He gets the message through dragonfly symbolism. Native Americans believe that the dragonfly is a messenger.

I believe in God, Jesus, heaven, angels, and miracles. My faith is simple. I believe in these things and I don't question them. I don't know how everything ties together and I don't really need to know. I have faith.

Lawrence died on July 23, 2005. I can't believe that it's almost been a year. He was in the navy, he was only 19 years old and he died in a training accident on his ship. Lawrence was a wonderful person. He had so much love surrounding him. He was always among friends. He radiated when he entered a room. My son, Justin, adored Lawrence. He was like a big brother to him. He was the perfect big brother to his brother, Vinny. He was funny and kind and everyone loved and still loves him.

His friends were his brothers also. They were so close. When Lawrence died it was surreal. It was so hard to understand. I remember sitting on the kitchen floor next to Lawrence's mother and feeling the most complete despair that I've ever experienced. I believe in life after death but this was so hard.

The atmosphere was very somber at Lawrence's funeral. At the cemetery there was a single dragonfly circling the grave site. My husband, Joey, pointed it out to me. Lawrence's father, Angelo, also saw the dragonfly. I found out later that it landed on Angelo's shoulder during the ceremony. After the ceremony was over, everyone started to leave, slowly and reverently. I was standing there with my husband, son and daughter.

I noticed that several of Lawrence's best friends remained. They were standing around his grave with bowed heads deep in thought. I remember thinking, "This is so sad, they don't want to leave Lawrence, they don't want to leave their best friend here in this cemetery all alone." It was then that I noticed 5 more dragonflies arrive at the grave site. They joined the single dragonfly that had been circling the area and were flying with him. I believe that it was a sign that Lawrence was alright, he was not alone. It was a sign to his friends that it was OK to leave him because he wasn't in the grave, he is in heaven and he isn't alone.

I love the song "Crossroads". It says "See you at the crossroads, so you won't be lonely". I believe that we won't be lonely when we die. There is everlasting life and we will be OK.

"Measure your life in love"